Professor helps Russia to help its veterans

Published: 1 June 2015 at 16:05

Psychologist visits St Petersburg to share knowledge of soldiers’ mental health care

An Anglia Ruskin University Professor visited St Petersburg to build links with Russian psychologists and to help former Russian soldiers suffering from mental health issues.

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes travelled to the Russian city over the weekend in his role as President of the British Psychological Society to work on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with counterparts the Russian Psychological Society and, as a Visiting Professor of Anglia Ruskin’s Veterans and Families Institute, to attend a conference called “Rehabilitation of Veterans of Recent Conflicts”.

It is hoped that former military personnel in the Russian Federation who suffer from mental health issues can benefit from the shared knowledge which will be passed on to professionals providing interventions for those patients.

Aims of the conference were to establish new relationships between professionals in both countries, to recognise that the issue of veterans’ mental health is universal, to share research results and to identify potential future research projects.

Professor Hacker Hughes, who founded the Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin and is currently a Visiting Professor, said:

“I was delighted to visit St Petersburg to meet with many eminent Russian psychologists from several distinguished Russian universities, together with the representatives from a number of Russian veterans’ organisations. We’ve also been able to discuss Anglo Russian perspectives on the psychological and sociological rehabilitation of ex-military personnel from both countries.

“Our two countries have long histories in common, including alliances during both World Wars and shared experience of war in Afghanistan, and it is my hope that we may now be crossing the threshold into a new era of exchange, cooperation and shared understanding between psychologists and veterans’ organisations from our two countries.”

Once finalised, the MoU will be signed at a meeting of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations in Milan in July.